Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points and the Los Angeles Clippers continued their torrid March, edging the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-108 on Friday night.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 16 points while Lou Williams had 15 for the Clippers, who are 9-1 this month and closing in on a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles, which began the night eighth in the conference, hung on in the final seconds after leading by six points with just under two minutes to play. Patrick Beverley split a pair of free throws with 6 seconds to play, giving the Clippers a two-point lead.
Jordan Clarkson took the inbounds pass and dribbled as the clock ticked down before his 3-point attempt from the top of the key hit off the back rim as time ran out.
Kevin Love scored 22 points for Cleveland, which trailed 94-83 early in the third quarter. Clarkson and rookie Collin Sexton each had 20.
Cleveland trailed 108-102 with just under two minutes to play, but baskets by Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. cut the lead to two with 37 seconds left. Beverley missed a 3-pointer, but the Clippers grabbed the rebound and Landry Shamet made one of two free throws with 13 seconds to play.
Love scored in the lane with 10 seconds to go cut the lead to one before Beverley’s free throw made it a two-point game.
Los Angeles didn’t lead until Beverley hit a 3-pointer less than a minute into the third. Beverley’s tip-in midway through the period broke a 73-all tie.
Cleveland was coming off home wins against Detroit and Milwaukee. The Pistons were playing without Blake Griffin, while Giannis Antetokounmpo sat out for the Bucks.
Love returned after leaving Wednesday’s game. He banged heads with Milwaukee’s Eric Bledsoe late in the second quarter and played just three minutes in the third before going to the locker room for evaluation.
Sexton had scored more than 23 points in seven straight games, surpassing a mark last accomplished by Tim Duncan in 1998.
Cleveland made 15 of 24 shots in the first quarter and led 40-25 at the end of the period.
Clippers: Gallinari scored 11 of the team’s 24 points in the first quarter. … Montrezi Harrell took an elbow in the face from Sexton in the first quarter, but remained in the game and scored 14 points. … Shamet had 15 points.
Cavaliers: G Matthew Dellavedova missed his eighth straight game with a concussion. … Nance, who missed five games with a bruised rib before returning Wednesday, was hit in the chest taking a charge in the second quarter.
Clippers: Visit New York on Sunday.
Cavaliers: Visit Milwaukee on Sunday.